Monday, April 27, 2009

Favoritism

One thing that I learned at the Shepherd's Path seminar I went to a few months back was that Muhammad (saws) used to treat each of his Companions like they were his favorite. For instance, Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As said that whenever the Prophet (saws) would look at him, he would smile, which made him think that he was the favorite of the Prophet (saws).

To test his theory, one day he asked the Prophet (saws) if he was better than Abu Bakr, but the Prophet (saws) responded that Abu Bakr was better. And then he asked if he was better than 'Umar, but the Prophet (saws) told him that 'Umar was better.

Then he realized that this was the way that the Prophet (saws) was towards everyone.

The lesson was that we should treat all our brothers and sisters in Islam this way--like they are our favorite person to be around. And honestly, it's a real treat to be around someone who treats you that way.

Image a person who smiles whenever he sees you. Or whenever she sees you, if you're a sister. A person who rushes to hug you, and greets you like you were the person they'd been looking for. Every single time they see you. It's a different kind of favoritism--not favoring one person over everyone else, but making everyone to feel as if they are your favorites.

People love that kind of attention--it's true. Hearing that story about 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As puts it into a new perspective, thinking about how the Prophet (saws) acted around his Companions, and why they loved him so much.

6 comments:

sami said...

SWB,

An interesting remark from
Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As !!

and an other materialization of
" And lo! thou art of a tremendous nature ." (68.4)

Hajar said...

Brilliant post. :) Provides a fresh new perspective in dealing @ communicating with people around us; valuing them well.

Shawna said...

What a beautiful way of greeting people! I think it's so easy to greet people with your own concerns. I'll be trying this, insha'Allah. I love reading your blog because every post shows me a way I can make myself better, insha'Allah.

Hamayoun said...

Salam

How are you Amy, it's been a while! I was reminded of this when I was reading an autobiography of a professional cricketer. In the book, the cricketer talks about how he played under one of his cricket captains, whose name is Mike Brearly. That name probably means nothing to you, but in the world of cricket he is known as one of the very best captains. Interestingly enough, he is also a psychologist. But anywhere, what this guy says in his book is how Mike Brearly used to consult him about what tactics to use during the game, even though he was just a newcomer to the team. And this made the guy feel so good. He's like 'Wow, I'm just a newbie, and here's the captain asking ME what I think we should do!'. When I read this, it reminded me of this behaviour of the Prophet(SAW). And of course, the Prophet(SAW) came up with it first!

Amy said...

Sami -- WSWRWB; Thanks for the comment. :-)

Hajar -- Great point! This is really about dealing with people and valuing them, something important for Muslims to learn inshaaAllaah.

Shawna -- Thanks for the comment! I'll try to have more posts about how to make myself better inshaaAllaah. :-)

Hamayoun -- Thanks for the comment, it's been so long! That is really a great example. It's something I read about in leadership books kind of often, about how the big exec goes down to ask the little guy what to do--usually the little guy has good ideas and by being asked feels more ownership and motivation.

Hameed said...

Salaam Ami...

It is always pleasure to read yoru blogs.